EU and China sign landmark GI agreement – but what does it mean?
Alec Fenn
China and the EU signed the landmark GI agreement on Monday, which could boost the trading of products between both countries. /Getty Creative

China and the EU signed the landmark GI agreement on Monday, which could boost the trading of products between both countries. /Getty Creative

 

China and the EU signed the landmark GI agreement on Monday. But what exactly does it mean and how will it benefit both parties moving forward?

The agreement protects the names of 100 European Geographical Indications in China and 100 Chinese Geographical Indications in Europe against imitation.

Geographical Indications are the names of products with unique characteristics linked to their place of origin, for example Feta cheese and Champagne.

China and the EU are both keen to create new trading opportunities together and the hope is that the agreement will boost sales of EU products in China and Chinese products in EU countries.

In 2019, China was the third biggest destination for EU agri-food products, with imports totaling $18.8 million. 

China is also the second biggest destination of EU exports of products protected as Geographical Indications, accounting for 9 percent by value, including wines, agri-food products and alcoholic spirits. 

 

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The EU list of GIs to be protected in China includes Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego. 

Among the Chinese GI products, the list includes Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian Bean Paste), Anji Bai Cha (Anji White Tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Anqiu Da Jiang (Anqiu Ginger).

The agreement is expected to enter into force at the beginning of 2021 and within the next four years, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover and additional 175 GI names from both sides.

The full list of GI protected products can be found here.